why farmers go to farm shows

A brief conversation about why farmers go to farm shows.

Recently Jeff Walter and I attended the Farm Progress Show. My husband Dennis, a retired sales agronomist, walked the show with us. As always, we caught up with clients, media partners, friends and neighbors, and made some new friends, too. The show was well-attended; and virtually every exhibitor we asked was pleased with the traffic in their displays.

On the way home, my husband asked the question: “Why do farmers go to the Farm Progress Show?” Huh? He has worked with farmers his entire career, he grew up on a farm and we live in a farming community. Why would Dennis be asking that question?

He went on to explain his question, wondering why farmers go to farm shows when most of what they need to know is a click or tap away.  We tossed the topic around for the first 100 of the 135 miles home from the show. We arrived at three key reasons:

  1. Community.  Farm shows like Farm Progress Show or National Farm Machinery Show are places where farmers can interact with like-minded people from other areas of the state and country-folks like sales agronomists, product managers, farm media, company executives and other farmers.
  2. Access to an Ag Superstore. Farm shows are where farmers can shop everything for the farm in one place. Like the rest of us, farmers do a lot of research online and offline to learn about products, services and suppliers. But at some point, they want to see and touch that exciting new planter or talk to the technical rep first-hand about resistant waterhemp.
  3. View of the Future. Farmers expect to learn about new products and services that they’ll use in the upcoming year. They also expect to hear from company executives about what’s in the pipeline. Knowing what’s coming may affect digital farming upfit decisions or the pest management strategies they plan for next year.

We suspect there are more than these three reasons we settled on while cruising I-57. One thing is certain, the farm show will be more engaging and productive for both farmers and ag marketing if marketers understand and support why farmers are there to begin with.

Jeff and I would love to hear your thoughts on why farmers like to go to farm shows. Comment here or shoot one of us an email: jeff@marketingtofarmers.com or diane@marketingtofarmers.com.